If you are of an age the media likes to label “Millennial”, then you are probably some sort of “guy” or “person” for the older members of your family to turn to for advice. ‘Phone guy’, ‘computer guy’, or ‘car guy’ are just a few examples. If you are reading this, then it is more than likely that you are at least the ‘car person’ of your immediate circle, which means when people go shopping, you get asked for “advice”.
I put advice in quotations for an important reason: no one really wants your advice, or anyone’s advice when it comes to car shopping. The internet has made everyone feel like an expert, and when someone asks what car they should get, it is normally for verification that the one they chose is the right one. The conversation normally leads with, “I’ve been looking at new cars and I really like X, but what do you think?”. All they really want to know is that the car they chose, X, is a good car.
While this sucks, it is better than the alternative: complete surprise. At least when you are asked about whatever X is, you can mentally start preparing yourself. This is leaps and bounds better than surprise, something I can regrettably say from experience. Even more sadly, in my short life as being the ‘car guy’ of my family, I have two such experiences. Once with my mother, and once with my then-fiancé, and now wife.
The first such time was when I was just becoming interested in cars, so admittedly I did not know much more then the average person. When my mom came home with her new car, this didn’t matter: I could tell it wasn’t good. The Chevrolet Aveo that we lived with for a few years is a story for another time, yet provides an example of when the surprise was a bad one. The second such time I was surprised by a new car is the focus of this week’s review, and was when my fiancé wanted to ditch her admittedly awful Hyundai Veloster. This surprise was much more pleasant then the tiny Aveo, because the car she ditched it for was a very slightly used 2014 Honda Accord Coupe V6 automatic. She has since graduated from fiancé to wife, and we have had the Accord for over 24,000 miles, ample time to form a good, or bad, opinion of the car.
Luckily, this time around, the surprise has led to a generally good opinion of the car. Visually, the coupe looks like a quasi-muscle car, which is appropriate considering the performance detailed later. While normally neither a fan of chrome, or white, on the Accord Coupe, the chrome works, accentuating the lines in all the right places. As for the white, it still isn’t my favorite, but it is a necessity for what is my favorite visual flair, the interior. The interior on most Accords equipped with leather is black, which I find boring, while white examples have the option of choosing between black and tan with black leather surfaces. Anyone who skips the option of the tan with black interior, is missing out, as the white interior gives an upscale appearance. Every time I see a Blue or Grey Accord drive by however, I must look around to remind me why the interior makes living with the white exterior bearable.
Why they didn’t offer the tan with black interior with other color options is a mystery to me, and the oversights continue in the interior. My 2002 Focus SVT has some of the best seats I have ever used, and getting into the back of the car is cinch, with a shoulder latch pulling the seat forward, and it slamming back into where it last was. In a coupe body-style, such a solution for backseat ingress/egress is a necessity, and the Accord falls short. The driver’s seat has a similar latch, although in an annoying manner, the seat returns to its furthers forward ‘notch’. This necessitates using the electric controls to slowly move back to your driving position, which if you are one of the two drivers saved into the memory controls, is not a big deal. For everyone else, prepare for 15-30 seconds of fine-tuning. The passenger seat doesn’t even benefit from such a half-effort latch, having an 80’s era foot/hand latch on the bottom corner of the seat. While the seats are a minor annoyance, they are a problem a company like Honda should have fixed pre-production.
This power is routed to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed Automatic. While I wish I could experience what is by all accounts a slick shifter, my wife likes the software to do it for her, so this review is on the automatic. Despite having over 250lb-ft of torque, the Accord Coupe is equipped with an open differential. That means this is the perfect car if you love torque steer. Stomp the throttle, and the wheels will squeak, with the steering wheel lurching one way or the other. Despite this, if you are gentle with the throttle, the Accord rewards being hustled through the corners, with the paddles allowing personal gear selection. A note on the transmission: Sport mode is useless unless you are using it to hold gears with the paddles. Left to its own devices, it holds gears way to long, far too high, making for a lurchy ride. While not a performance to write home about, the V6 will reward stomps on the throttle, with the chassis allowing a quick jaunt through the occasional twisty road.
As a surprise, one could do worse than an Accord than I did, especially one equipped with a V6. Fast for its class, comfortable, handy, and good looking, the Accord is a solid performer. While she picked very well this time, I told my wife I would at least like the warning of being asked my opinion before she purchases a car next (although I didn’t promise anything!)
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I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.